Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Faith Blog...."When I say that 'I am a Christian...'"

I believe this is taken by Ms Z...I know it's in Santa Monica

I received this email this week and wanted to share it with you today. I know you'll agree that....

When I say that 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living.

I'm whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.

I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.

I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.

I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain.

I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness." John 12:46

Have a wonderful Sunday............get into that light :-)


Tom said...

Hi Z, thanks for this gorgeous Sunday posting - both the breathless pic and sublime email passage, which hits the true meaning of expressing oneself as a flawed-but-striving Christian. You may find this 2+ minute taping full of truth too - about how, once one accepts a new world view, that God is actively sorting out this (at end he either says saddled or sordid) world, everything else falls into place of being a Christian (of the faith and logical conclusion that the tomb truly was empty):

beamish said...

When I say I am a Christian, I'm saying I humbly recognize my need of redemption and acknowledge my Redeemer.

All of that without gold, incense, a pretty building, and uptight fellow humans hubristically elevating themselves up out of the egalitarian confines of human pathos every Sunday.

To be a Christian is to consider yourself "in church" all the time, and I fail miserably at it.

The best I can hope for is to let God be holy through me. He's going to be holy in spite of me anyway.

JINGOIST said...

Great post Z! Whoever wrote that did a wonderful job.

Beamish wrote:
"All of that without gold, incense, a pretty building, and uptight fellow humans hubristically elevating themselves up out of the egalitarian confines of human pathos every Sunday."

You do have a way with words Beamish! Well done.

Anonymous said...

The beauty we sometimes confront in pictures like this, in well-tended parks, in wild, untended nature, in homes people lavished with loving care, in the splendor of great cathedrals, in museums, in fine restaurants, in opera houses, concert halls, theaters, boulevards lined with trees -- in PEOPLE who respect take good care of one another -- in the affection of our pets -- ALL of this is indication that GOD IS WITH US and shows the truth in this simple verse:

God is my help
In every need
He does my every
Hunger feed
He walks beside me,
Guides my way
Through every moment
Of the day

Of course, it is not about "I" or "me." God reveals His presence best when we show interest and concern for others and awareness and appreciation of the many beauties all over His creation.

~ FreeThinke

JINGOIST said...

More beautiful words! This time from Roger:

God reveals His presence best when we show interest and concern for others and awareness and appreciation of the many beauties all over His creation.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Well, my friend Tom, that was quite a few seconds of video....I couldn't agree with him more and he put it So well...:
"Why really DID they (disciples, etc.) believe? Why? The only way you can explain it is that it happened"

Then he goes on to say that his atheist professor at Oxford liked very much his paper on the resurrection and said it made perfect sense only HE had CHOSEN NOT TO BELIEVE! Then the man goes on to say it's when you think "Maybe there really IS a God, you're open to belief.
Z: I believe the Holy Spirit might enter you just at that time? As C S Lewis said "Once you've really started looking into Christianity with any interest, it's too late to turn back, the Holy Spirit has you in his web...."
I saw that happen to a Jewish friend of mine who's become Christian after having read A SEVERE MERCY, which has that quote from CS Lewis in it. It worked with Mike, who was baptized at our church two years and much more study later.

Beamish, "To be a Christian is to consider yourself "in church" all the time, and I fail miserably at it." Welcome to Christianity, right? :-) Then you said "The best I can hope for is to let God be holy through me." That's the whole enchilada, in my opinion. And he changes us and molds us and loves us, anyway.

Jingo, doesn't Beamish THINK!!?? I love the things he comes up with!
Good to see you xxx


Karen Howes said...

Lovely picture, and a great reflection. So true.

beamish said...

Ah, don't mistake my cynicism for humility. I'm as guilty of looking down my nose at people as anyone I'm blanket castigating.

Faith makes all things possible, but not easy.

Z said...

Beamish, no worries "Ah, don't mistake my cynicism for humility" :-)

and yes, to the faith sentiment...that's the 'secret'...people think it's supposed to make EVERYTHING BETTER! When, really, most of the time, it makes things easier and growth encouraging.

karen,'ve got some super pix at your place today, too! i enjoyed them.
And DUCKY is there :-)

Anonymous said...

Z, A truly human, insightful, description of what I believe Christian faith is meant to be.

Mr Pris has an aunt who will be 103in three weeks, and her husband was 101 when he died a few years ago. They lived being Christians, as his aunt stills does, not talking about being Christians.

Goodness and charity personified their lives together. They lived their faith. Yet if you didn't know they were Christians you wouldn't be told by them.

She, at 103, is still vital, has her sense of humor, and is still as she always has been. A good Christian woman who in so many ways exemplifies her belief, and asks for nothing in return for her kindness, and good deeds.

Perhaps God has allowed these two precious people to remain so long here on earth, because they are what he would hope all of us could be. To live what he taught, and teach by example.


Deborah on the Bayside said...

Thanks so much for this post. Perfect timing. It caps a study of 1 John I just finished this afternoon and has been wonderful to pray through. We see our flaws more clearly in the light -- yet we can step into it with confidence and gratitude.

"Give thanks with a grateful heart."

Anonymous said...

Give thanks also with thoughtful mind.

Intelligence is God's greatest gift to Man other than Life, itself.

It's all that differentiates us from the beasts.

~ FreeThought

Tom said...

You're most welcome Z, but it's actually credit to you for inspiring me (for one) to write a couple of thoughts and references. As for the subsequent comments on confounding a person's cynicism with humility - it made me at once recollect having read Lewis' Mere Christianity, and of its particular part about our being empowered to wear a mask of Christian piety ... of how though it feels hypocritical and phony at first, in time it would become our true evolved persons! So there is hope - even for us cynical types ;-) Cheers to all!

Z said...

HI said "....Lewis' Mere Christianity, and of its particular part about our being empowered to wear a mask of Christian piety ... of how though it feels hypocritical and phony at first, in time it would become our true evolved persons!"

I personally believe that it does help to 'pretend' things and 'wear them' and you do become those things, in a sense, but Christian piety takes not only wearing that 'mask' but tons of studying and reading, don't you think?

Tom said...

Thanks Z, but to be honest in responding - I don't think that at all. In fact, the most genuine and humble folk I've ever encountered in my half century have been the least read and most simple - as was my mom's father, with only a fifth grade education but a great and unwavering faith in the Lord that got him through a lot of life's trials in steadfast Christian resolve to always do what's right instead of what's convenient, pragmatic or self-gaining. Of course others would deem this behavior foolish, but his concern was more with not failing God in his commitment to Him (he stayed an "altar boy" into his 80's) - therefore making his place in the next life better off than on this temporal, finite life. Of course studying can reinforce faith, but it also has the risk of increasing doubt (where I live) and even total skepticism and even agnosticism-by-default (full disillusionment, especially among those who incorrectly think that prayer is a form of magic that's supposed to cure our earthly ills, and lashing out at God eventually for not stopping this or that crime or tragedy). So that probing and understanding are a two-edged sword, and one must accept the need to balance it with reflection and real prayer (what Jacques Maritain defined as 'God talk') so as not to fall into the traps of over-intellectualism that suppress our ability to actually feel things (love not being of the mind, but of the heart (soul really, not organ)). Cheers.

Tom said...

Just one more thing that resonated with me (pardon the pun): "I have a theory that music appreciation resides in the same part of your brain where you think about yourself. That might be why it's good to listen to music while doing boring tasks, such as going for a long run, because music interferes with your mind's ability to think about yourself." which I found via the latest posting here (by clicking "similar thoughts"):
The gist as I see it is the tendecy toward paralysis of analysis when we overdo certain brain activities that can throw even our focus and perspective out of whack. Have a splendid musical and feelings-filled day :-)

Tom said...

BTW, though not exactly the same, the latest posting here:
on the concept of Mutualism, is an interesting attempt to find compromise between what one thinks ought to exist with what's acutally be dealt for cards. I'm of late concluding that, ultimately, it's one's affirming an imperfect state - that leads to mental/emotional balance and health.

Anonymous said...

This may not seem relevant, but I'm sure it is:

A friend sent me an article on Emily Dickinson knowing her work has always meant a great deal to me.

It was from the New York Times. Very well written, but "The Agenda" was egregious. Modern scholars take the position that our understanding of historic figures -- in this case ED -- has been falsely "prettied up" in the way Parson Weems prettied up (and muddied up) our image of George Washington (discussed EXHAUSTIVELY the other day here at geeeZ).

Well, it occurred to me that IF we were guilty of "PRETTYING UP" our public heroes and icons in the past, we've been guilty of "UGLIFYING" them since the 1960's.

Like the issue of Christian faith and whether or not it is sincere. Isn't it better to pretend things are better than they are than to make a deliberate point of taking a dim and cynical view of everything?

The former cultivates optimism and good cheer, the latter despair.

To me there is no contest. The "Critical Theory" devised by Cultural Marxists is destructive and dispiriting.

Faith on the other hand engenders hope, joy and makes it possible for us to love.

CRITICAL THEORY (taking the most dismal, doubt raising approach to everything) is obviously SATANIC, while FAITH is obviously GODLY.

"By their fruits Ye shall know them."

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

From James Carroll's column in today's Globe.

"In the secular age, as religion was marginalized, its role as a source of meaning, purpose, and transcendence was largely taken over by the myt"h of nationalism. The nation-state became a main source of identity, prompting sufficient devotion in citizens to die or to kill. Where religious wars were always primitive and immoral, national wars were patriotic and just. Today, the tie between citizens and the state is tattered, even in America, which, in its democratic liberalism, was nationalism’s greatest success. The hollowing out of US institutions, from a Congress in the grip of political paralysis, to an extravagantly funded Pentagon that cannot defeat enemies whose bombs are made with fertilizer, to an economic regulatory system that has no influence, much less control, over financial predators — all of this suggests a breakdown not just of government, but of the national idea. Meanwhile, patriotism has become an exercise in hatred."

Seems the religious right has played a strong role in this sad state of affairs, primarily through their stealth Calvinism.

Z said...

Ducky, how embarrassing to post something so uninformed and so terribly naive on Carroll's part and consistently hateful on yours.

Tom said...

Praytell, what is a hate crime? If the same act and its result have been perpetrated on two separate humans, is one such commission greater than the other? By what and whose standard? Are we judging by intent (that one act was more disgustingly hateful) or by the resulting injury/damage? And if one is deemed 'hateful' - is there objective criteria for having decided it to be so, or just a feeling (and perhaps intolerant one at that, ironically). I frankly don't, on the face of it, see the hatefulness - or is arousing tension and critical thought the same thing as abhorrent behavior? If so, ouch I truly will miss free thought and speech (sorry, you touched a sensitive nerve with that word 'hate' - which is used so often these days to quash dissent, not that you don't have a right to determine who says what on your blog of course). Cheers nonetheless :-)

Tom said...

In rereading, I see that Ducky had posted similar stuff on the latest posting - plus your having used the word 'consistenly' ... so I'm guessing now that this is a pattern that I was aware of ... not that I understand the word 'hateful' yet (except that it's obvious he has an obsession with right-wing Calvinism), but am thinking more irritating than anything (throwing barbs without regard to how it fits with the subject at hand). For us who continue to do that, I would urge to simply not allow their posts - that should do the trick. Cheers again.

Tom said...

erratum: meant to say "pattern I was unaware of" ... time for shut-eye

Z said...

Tom, I've had a difficult day and am just not 'on the money' today...what are you referring to there? the hate crime thing?
I can't block commenters, by the way, I have some information where I COULD possibly do that and am going to have a computer friend look into it when I have the energy to address that whole thing, but Blogger normally doesn't allow that and I don't choose to go on moderation.

Please, friends, always cite whom you're addressing because it's easier to get your drift when you comment regarding it..thanks.

Tom said...

Hi Z - mine actually followed immediately after yours about Ducky's alleged hatefulness ... but never mind, not important (when individuals' thought processes are so far apart, there's little point). As for blocking irritants, I thought when I say the statement to the effect that "this post has been deleted" it meant you had posting allowance rights ... but must be some Net admin for foul language instead(?)

Z said...

Hi, Tom...I had a major headache yesterday and wasn't thinking well..sorry!
When you see a post's deleted it can be me (tho I rarely do that to anybody and usually delete completely, not leaving that 'this has been deleted') OR it's someone who's also a blogger....they can delete their own)

Tom said...

Cool, we're good - thanks Z :-)

Anonymous said...


M. T. Post

Whoopee said...


Al S. Divine

Anonymous said...

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord lift His countenance upon you,
And give you peace,
And be gracious unto you.